Tour of California Kicks Off Women’s Pro Cycling Season
The 2009 Amgen Tour of California WomenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Criterium presented by the Redwood Regional Breast Center will assemble some of the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s top professional women cyclists to compete in Santa Rosa on Sunday, February 15, in the season opening NRC event. The second-annual race will, once again, be held in conjunction with Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California. Featuring a field that includes defending champion and 2008 U.S. National Criterium and Road Race Champion Brooke Miller, the race is sure to be an exciting and challenging competition, kicking off the womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cycling season.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Amgen Tour of California WomenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Criterium is returning for a second year to Santa Rosa to showcase the excitement and competitiveness of women’s professional cycling to fans along the route,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports. “The 2009 race will bring together some of the finest competitors in women’s professional cycling. That, combined with the menÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s field, will make this an epic day of bike racing.”
Read “more” for roster highlights, prize purse and other details…
The Women’s Criterium will begin at 1 p.m. and will showcase some of the world’s top professional women cyclists competing for more than $15,000 in prizes. Set as a category Pro 1/2 race, the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Criterium will have a limit of eight riders per team. Once again using portions of the Stage 1 menÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s finishing circuit in Santa Rosa, the WomenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Criterium will bring the thrill of professional womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cycling to fans in the hours just before the menÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s finish in downtown Santa Rosa.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Amgen Tour of California WomenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Criterium is emerging as one of the top womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cycling events in America and carries international athletic importance. The field of National Champions, World Cup winners and Olympians will be competing to become the leader of the 2009 National Race Calendar, as well as for the overall prizes,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Laura Charameda, race director, Amgen Tour of California Women’s Criterium. Ã¢â‚¬Å“With huge crowds expected to be in Santa Rosa to see both the menÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Amgen Tour of California and the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Criterium, the event promises to be exciting for both racers and cycling fans.”
The 2009 Amgen Tour of California WomenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Criterium roster includes representation from top American womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cycling teams including, Team Columbia-Highroad, Webcor Builders, Colavita/Sutter Home Presented by Cooking Light, Team TIBCO and Proman.
The unprecedented field of riders expected to compete in the second-annual event includes the following:
Ã‚Â· Mara Abbott (USA) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Team Columbia-Highroad
Abbott won the 2007 U.S. National Championship in the road race competition.
Ã‚Â· Kim Anderson (USA) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Team Columbia-Highroad
A World Championship team member in 2003, Anderson took first place overall in the 2008 San Dimas Stage Race. She also took second place in the 2008 Sweden World Cup.
Ã‚Â· Katheryn Curi-Mattis (USA) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Webcor Builders
Curi-Mattis held the title of the 2005 National Champion in the road race competition. She also took first place overall in the 2008 Geelong World Cup.
Ã‚Â· Emilia Fahlin (SUI) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Team Columbia-Highroad
Fahlin is the current Swedish National Champion.
Ã‚Â· Gina Grain (CAN) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Webcor Builders
A former Canadian National Champion and 2008 Canadian Olympian, Grain earned a silver medal in the 2006 Track World Championships. She also medalled in the Pan American Championship in the road and track competitions.
Ã‚Â· Brooke Miller (USA) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Team TIBCO
Defending champion of the inaugural Amgen Tour of California WomenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Criterium, Miller took the lead in the NRC by winning the 2008 race. Miller is also the 2008 U.S. National Criterium and Road Race Champion.
Ã‚Â· Shelley Olds (USA) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Proman
Olds is the 2008 Elite National Scratch Race Champion. She also placed during two stages of the Rotterdam Tour and won the race overall.
Ã‚Â· Tina Pic (USA) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Colavita/Sutter Home Presented by Cooking Light
Pic is a five-time U.S. Criterium Champion who will be participating in the race for the first time this year.
Ã‚Â· Ina Teutenberg (GER) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Team Columbia-Highroad
Winner of the 2008 Triple Crown and Liberty Classic, Teutenberg placed third overall in the 2007 World Cup. She also took the overall win, in addition to stage wins, in the 2008 Giro dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Italia, Geelong Tour and Tour of New Zealand.
Ã‚Â· Erinne Willock (CAN) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Webcor Builders
Willock was a member of the Canadian Olympic team in 2008.
Ã‚Â· Alex Wrubleski (CAN) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Team Columbia-Highroad
Wrubleski is the current Canadian National Road Champion and a 2008 Olympian.
*Complete roster to follow in the days leading up to the race